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Use Warm Up Activities to Encourage Class Participation


^21st Century Skills All Ages Strategy

Use Warm Up Activities to Encourage Class Participation

If your student is shy or hesitant about participating in class

Teach It!

  1. Objective: Students will find their voice and will more readily participate during the primary lesson when provided with quick, low-stakes opportunities at the beginning of class.
  2. Class Activity: a) Have students take turns sharing one thing they are excited about. Always begin with a positive prompt, so students are more eager to share. b) Be certain the students who need it have sufficient think time. You might let them go later or give them advance notice to prepare. c) Model your response first, so students have an idea of answer type and length. d) Over the course of the year, modify this exercise to practice other communication skills. For example, ask that students include two specific details, or include context when sharing. Or ask them to use specific names and places, not just pronouns or ambiguous terms (e.g. a lot, stuff, thing).
  3. Considerations: a) Many students are uncomfortable contributing in class, even when they know the answer. Always set ground rules and create a safe environment where all students feel comfortable speaking without judgment.

Why It Works (the Science Of Learning)!

The more low-risk opportunities students have to speak, the more comfortable they will be, and the more their speaking will naturally improve. Given the importance of speaking and communication skills in the workplace, this exercise can be used to develop speaking skills in all students, not just reluctant speakers. It also can be a good source of relationship and community building between teacher and student and the students in the class.